Loading... Please wait...

CEO Speaks

Tom Kemper, founder and CEO of Dolphin Blue, Inc., has been deeply involved in the environmental community for many years. He is available for speaking engagements with church groups, university clubs and organization, business groups, conferences and conventions, and community groups. Please call 214-565-0355 to arrange a speaking engagement.

Speaking Fee:
Organizations booking Mr. Kemper may work out whatever fees, expense reimbursements, and other arrangements are mutually agreeable. Mr. Kemper's normal fees are expense reimbursement for air travel, auto rental or other form of transportation, and lodging (prior to travel to an event), as well as full payment of honorarium upon arrival at event. Speaking fee for a one-day appearance is $2500.00 and $4000.00 for two days. Multiple-day fee will be negotiated.

About Tom Kemper


Recent Appearances

GMO Corn Kills Monarchs

Small Scale, BIG Challenge

Tom Kemper has spent the last 17 years running Dolphin Blue, Inc. and DolphinBlue.com, a business built on principles of environmental and social sustainability.

In the 1970's, the valley in which Kemper was raised was discovered to have been covered with dioxin-contaminated waste-oil. The roads were being sprayed by county contractors to reduce dust in the summer months. A beautiful, spring-fed, trout stream -- where Kemper fished as a young boy --became suddenly void of life. Rare illnesses and disease began showing up among his former classmates, creating concern among the neighbors in the formerly ecologically vibrant valley. The town is Fenton, Missouri, near infamous Times Beach. This played an important role in development of Kemper's environmental awareness and activism.

Conducting the first public recycling event at the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas in 1992, he collected, sorted, and bagged three hundred fifty, 50-gallon bags of recyclable commodities in the three weeks of the festival. Kemper had little success in finding anyone to accept the materials for reprocessing. It was through this exercise he began to realize the true economics of recycling: the only way it works, is when we choose products made from materials we attempt to recycle.

Assembling a business and marketing plan for Dolphin Blue in 1993, the Company began providing post-consumer recycled products to its first customers in '94. Fiscal 2003 produced the company's highest-ever revenues, totaling almost $1 million in only recycled-content office supplies.

Not only does Kemper work to protect peoples' health and the environment, he also has worked to create a fair and sustainable model in global trade.


Kemper says, "Under globalization, we see our natural world deteriorating and societies losing their culture. Human dignity, natural resources, peoples' health, education, diversity and individuals' economic needs take a back seat to profitability. Consumers expect low-cost, throw-away goods, while global corporations and CEOs and corporate managers increase their wealth exponentially. We often observe formerly good-paying jobs being exported to Bangladesh, China, India, Mexico, Malaysia, and now, Africa. For how long can we continue on this path? To be socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable, we must meet the needs of ALL constituents."

Kemper believes we must begin in our own communities, valuing those amenities, "human and natural capital" -- like clean air, clean water, healthy and nutritious foods, our children's health, the health and strength of our community's economy, safety of our neighborhoods - things we seem to no longer value, and those things we seem to have forgotten the past twenty years that our parents and grandparents seemed to inherently know. We've all been so indoctrinated to consumerism, we've lost touch with what really matters in life.

Small, locally owned business is one way to return accountability and sustainability to local communities. Small business is a realistic way to once again create strong, vibrant economies in our communities. Kemper asks, "Can we create the world we want that works for all of us? What does that sustainable world look like? Only we, the inhabitants in control of consumption, can create a sustainable world."

To address these questions, Kemper and his co-chairs -- Margie Haley and Gary Olp -- embarked on a mission in 1998 to answer these questions each year through their leadership of Sustainable Dallas' annual Conference on Sustainability.

As the President and founder of Dolphin Blue, Kemper strives to create the sustainable world and local community he envisions.


Endorsements for Environmental Speaking by Tom Kemper

Wow, Tom Kemper is a visionary and a pioneer.  His passion for creating a healthy planet inspires audiences to follow his lead.  Through articulately telling his own journey-- of awakening from unconscious consumerism, to struggling to build a business before green was "in", to  being a successful entrepreneur-- he models personally and professionally how uncompromising commitment to sustainability can be achieved. His engaging and friendly down to earth style, along with extensive, in depth knowledge of all facets of the issues involved, draws in even the die-hard skeptic. He invites all of us to question how we can contribute to creating healthy futures for ourselves and generations to come.


Margaret Christensen, MD  



I just got back from 8 days in the UK studying by-product synergy as they practice it at NISP (http://www.nisp.org.uk) for the US Business Council for Sustainable Development.

What I like about your presentation is that you have the business intelligence of an inquisitive and astute entrepreneur combined with an intellectual rigor that I have come to expect of high level presentations on sustainability issues from my experience with speakers at BGI (Bainbridge Graduate Institute).  Frankly, the rest of the UT Business School 'summit' was wimpy and years late --- at least they are making a start.

My hope is that you opened the minds of at least a few people. I know that the young woman sitting next to me was enthusiastic saying that your presentation was the kind of thing she came to the summit to learn/hear,  not the shameless self promotions of big business as usual (with a twist for the flavor of the week = green).

Ann E. Brudno

Director of Design

ecoFAB,LLC http://www.ecofab.net

Seattle, WA 98104


Hi, Tom,

Thanks for coming to our forum Sunday.  We really enjoyed your presentation.  You showed passion, knowledge, commitment, and action.  I think you really impressed our little group, and I think we're making a real impression on these Unitarians about Globalization.

Good luck with your campaign!

David Gray

Program Coordinator

First Unitarian Church of Dallas


Wilshire Baptist Church

Dallas, TX

The curriculum committee thanks you for the excellent presentation on Responsible Stewardship of Our Garden.

We were indeed fortunate to receive authoritative information presented in such a casual, interactive way.

You were an additional inspiration to many in the class who have the same philosophy and can influence the direction of the church. We would welcome your return at some future time if you are willing.

Mary Pfalzgraf

Curriculum Committee Chair


Hi Tom,

Thanks for your participation in the Sustainability Summit last  week, and for sending the announcement.

Many of us enjoyed your presentation on Saturday. 

Aside from what you had to say about sustainability, it was  inspiring to hear from an entrepreneur whose main motivations go far beyond just making money.  In general, I thought that our  session contained a good variety of perspectives.

Best Regards,

Steve Gilbert

Associate Professor

McCombs School of Business

The University of Texas at Austin


Subject: RE: UT Summit address

Dear Tom,

I was very impressed to hear your story.  The conviction that you have to practicing sustainable business is inspirational.  You are one of the first of the emerging sustainability entrepreneurs.

I enjoyed hearing from an entrepreneur who built a “conventional” business as a means of caring for the environment.

Thank you for believing in conservation of resources and sustainable business before it was the “hip new thing”.

Most sincerely,

Vivian Hill

Administrative Assistant

Applied Sustainability Center

University of Arkansas

Sam M. Walton College of Business


Re:  National Student Teach-In, hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington Students Environmental Society

“Tom Kemper slices into the global economy and invites us to take a hard look at how money connects
our souls with pollutants in Pakistan, hungry bellies in Guatemala, and our great, great, grandkids’ need
to run free beneath a blue sky.”

Jeff Howard, Asst. Professor
School of Urban & Public Affairs 
University of Texas at Arlington

The following is a listing of public addresses and invited appearances Kemper has made since 1997.

Kemper has recently been invited to address the 2004 MBA Class' Social Enterprise Club and Sustainable Development Society at the Harvard Business School in Boston, MA.

Please call me at 1.800.932.7715 or email me if there is additional information you seek.

Moving Planet Day Dallas
Keynote Speaker to OYEA!
Women's Museum in Fair Park
Dallas, TX
-September 24, 2011

YERT Screening at the Angelika Theatre Dallas
Q&A Host with YERT Director, Ben Evans
Angelika Theatre
Dallas, TX
-September 22, 2011

Lakehill Preparatory School Environmental Science Center
Keynote Speaker
"Profitability Through Sustainability"
Environmental Summit "Going Green with your Business"
Dallas, Texas
- February 23, 2010

Green Business Conference
Keynote Speaker
"Profitability Through Sustainability"
North Texas University
Denton, Texas
January 13, 2010

"Sustainability: a 50-Year Strategic Plan" March 24, 2009 -- Founders' Day Conference, Northwood University, Cedar Hill, TX
Keynote Speaker

"Greening the Economy" February 5, 2009 -- National Student Teach-In at University of Texas, Arlington, Arlington, TX
Featured Speaker

"The Impact of Civic Engagement on the Sustainability of Our Planet" September 24, 2008 -- SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) and School of Management sponsored conference at Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
Keynote Speaker

"Greening the Supply Chain" UT Sustainable Business Summit, University of Texas, Austin, Austin, TX McCombs School of Business -- January 26, 2007 -- sponsored by 2007 MBA Class at McCombs School of Business
Featured Speaker/Panelist

"Entrepreneurial Roundtable" April 22, 2004 - Graceland University, Lamoni, IA

Keynote Speaker "A Business Built on Sustainable Principles"

The Roundtable has taken place since 1989 and is one of the larger conferences on entrepreneurship in the Midwest. Attended by 250 high school and college students, entrepreneurs, and business professionals, Students in Free Enterprise collegiate team manages the event.

Beaming Bioneers -- Texas Satellite Conference
Featured Speaker
"Small Business: The Way to Sustainability."
University of Saint Thomas
Houston, Texas
- October 2003

Green Festival Austin
Featured Speaker
"Small Business: The Way to Sustainability."
Austin, Texas
- October 2003

Renewable Energy Roundup
Featured Speaker
"Small Business: The Way to Sustainability."
Fredericksburg, Texas
- September 2003

First United Methodist Church
Featured Speaker
"Creating a Sustainable World; Sustainable Development."
Dallas, Texas
- February 2003

Peace Rally Dallas
Featured Speaker
"Wage Peace, Not War."
Dallas, Texas
- November 2002

Renewable Energy Roundup
Featured Speaker
"Sustainable Business Saves Energy."
Fredericksburg, Texas
- September 2002

City of Dallas, Office of Environmental Management
Featured Speaker
"Sustainability in Dallas."
Dallas, Texas
- August 2002

First Unitarian Church of Dallas Globalization Series
Keynote Speaker
(sponsored by Social Action Clearinghouse)
"Globalization's Effects on Sustainability."
Dallas, Texas
- July 2002

League of Women Voters of Texas Globalization Forum
Featured Speaker
"Global Trade vs. Sustainability."
Dallas, Texas
- June 2002

Mendenhall Junior High Earth Day
Keynote Speaker
"Earth Day: What's the Big Deal?"
Plano, Texas
- April 2002

Dallas County Corporate Recycling Council Annual Meeting
(Corporate Sponsor: Alcatel)
Featured Speaker
"What Makes Business Sustainable?"
Richardson, Texas
- February 2002

A Forum on Globalization
Featured Speaker
"Building a Sustainable Business in a Global Economy."
University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas
- December 2001

Whole Life Expo
Featured Speaker
"Creating the Sustainable World We Want."
Dallas, Texas
- September 2001

Sustainable Dallas Conference 2001
Featured Speaker, Conference Wrap-up and Closing Remarks
Dallas, Texas
- May 2001

SMU Cox School of Business -- CEO Dinner with Ray Anderson,
Founder and Chairman of Interface Corp.
"A Sustainable Business Enterprise."
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
- April 2001

Texas Recycling Summit Coalition 2000
(sponsor: Lucent Technologies)
Featured Speaker
"Recycled Products in the Sustainable Economy."
Houston, Texas
- October 2000

Telecom Corridor Business Lecture Series Luncheon
(sponsor: Richardson Chamber of Commerce)
Keynote Speaker
"Growing a Green Business in Dallas, Texas"
Richardson, Texas
- May 2000

University of Texas at Arlington
Featured Speaker
"Running a Green Business."
Arlington, Texas
- April 2000

Earth Day Conference
Featured Speaker
"Growing a Green Business"
University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
- April 2000

Sustainable Dallas Conference 2000
Featured Speaker
"Beyond Recycling: Sustainable Production"
Dallas, Texas
- March 2000

A National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America (Concurrent Event)
Featured Speaker
"A Business Built on Sustainability - Closing the Loop: We All Win."
Dallas, Texas
- May 1999

OU Earth Day
Featured Speaker
"A Small Business in a Sustainable World"
Oklahoma University, Norman, Oklahoma
- Earth Day 1997

Effects of the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) on Democracy
Featured Speaker
"National Treatment and Chapter 11 (Expropriation & Compensation) -- How They Effect Small Business"
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas